There is plenty of demand for travel from India to Greece, Jet Airways’ new Vice President Europe Continental & Americas Gilbert George said recently in Athens.
During an event organized by the airline’s general sales agent (GSA) in Greece, Gold Star Aviation, Mr Gilbert gave a full presentation of the airline to a group of Greek travel agencies including Aktina Travel Group, Marine Tours, Aria Travel, Altair /Petas.gr, Argo Travel, BCD, e-Travel, GR Bollywood, Heraklio Travel, Kyvernitis Travel and Synthesis Group.
India’s premier international airline, Jet Airways, has a total fleet of 116 aircraft flying to over 48 destinations within India and 20 destinations around the globe and offers seamless connections to even more worldwide destinations with its 21 codeshare and 151 interline partners. As part of an extended codeshare agreement with its strategic partner Etihad Airways, Jet Airways gives access to destinations across Europe, North America, Africa and Australia via Abu Dhabi.
Jet Airways currently connects Greece to India through its hubs in Amsterdam, Paris, London and Abu Dhabi.
According to Mr George, the citizens of India see Greece as a favorite destination. “They love the beaches, they love the islands and love the history… There is much more traffic that can be generated from India to Greece”, he told the Greek Travel Pages (GTP), adding that the airline is evaluating further cooperation with the Greek market.
“We are also looking into the fact that we connect from Amsterdam to Toronto and there is a good Greek market in Toronto. We would like to double up that market”, Mr George added.
The airline has been represented in Greece by Gold Star Aviation since 1993.
“We are very proud to be working with Jet Airways for the past 23 years. We have an exceptional partnership at all levels — commercial and financial — and all the support that exists through the company’s distribution network”, the general manager of Gold Star Aviation, Michael Flerianos, told GTP.
Mr Flerianos said that Gold Star Aviation aims to attract more passengers to Greece from Jet Airways’ hubs where there is much demand.
“The new vice president of Europe and America is very advanced in marketing and sales and I believe he will greatly assist to do many things for the Greek market”, he said.
Bilateral agreement between Greece and India essential
When asked if Jet Airways would consider launching a direct connection to Greece in the future, Mr Flerianos reminded that the civil aviation authorities of both countries must move on to a bilateral agreement so direct flights can be launched.
“Jet Airways had flown to Athens when Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano erupted back in 2010 and closed the airspace of North Europe… For one week four Jet Airways planes landed at Athens Airport every day”, he said.
Mr Flerianos said that discussions between the airline and Athens airport took place at that time in regards to launching a direct connection to America but stopped there, since political issues had to be solved.
“The bilateral agreement between Greece and India has not been signed and we can not even codeshare from Greece with a company from India which would help greatly”, he said.
“This obstacle must must be overcome so we can move on… The Greek side (ambassador in New Delhi and Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority) has made great efforts and many attempts for the agreement to go through but apparently India has other priorities at the moment.”
“There is no direct Greece-India flight right now and the company who will launch it first will get the market share”, he added.
Jet Airways has been crowned as Best Cargo Airline of the Year (Region – India) at the prestigious Air Cargo India Conference and Exhibitions Feb, 2016, at Mumbai and won the award for International Cargo Airline of the Year at the GMR – IGI Airport Awards 2015.